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Monday, September 28, 2015

My Brother Jose Rodriguez and His Family

I liberated the picture above from my sister-in-law's Facebook page and I thought it'd be a great idea to publish it here. In the picture are my brother Jose Anthony Rodriguez aka Boe, Kathy, Nellie and Tony, Jr.

Boe and Kathy have been married for more than 15 years but they have been a couple for over 20 years. My niece, Nellie recently celebrated her 21st birthday at a casino where she consumed alcohol and bet on the slot machines with her mom.

Tony, Jr. plays little league baseball and like his dad, he enjoys watching and participation in sports. I think his baseball team won a championship or they came close a couple years ago.

Boe and Kathy have worked very hard to maintain their family. At one point, they both held two jobs just to make ends meet. I'm very proud of my brother and Kathy.

Maybe one day I'll change my life and have a family of my own.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Having Problems being Able to Smoke Cigarettes

Photo Credit: Ramiro Rodriguez

Hi,

Thanks for dropping by this Trying to Change My Life Blog. I'm a patient at the San Francisco Nursing Center and they've just made this place a non-smoking facility so I'm having a hard time being able to smoke.

Some of the nurses think it is okay to smoke in one of the courtyards and directed me there when I asked one of them to take me out to smoke. I met with the office manager yesterday and he said this is now a no smoking facility. He said I had to go off-site to smoke.

The problem I'm having is finding someone to take me out. I'm going to try again to get someone to take me out. I don't give up that easily.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I Think I F-ed Up Yesterday Afternoon

Photo Credit: Ramiro Rodriguez

This picture was taken using a kaleidoscope app from http://play.google.com.

Smile 😎

I'm glad you're here because I need all the help I can get. I titled this post, "I Think I F-ed Up Yesterday", because I'm still a patient at the San Francisco Nursing Center, and there was an issue with someone who arrived to visit me yesterday afternoon.

My visitor brought marijuana which he wanted to share with me but we had to go outside to smoke the weed. I asked one of the head nurses if I had to sign-out and he told me I couldn't go outside the facility.

After the nurse advised me that I had no rights, I told him they couldn't hold me hostage and that I was going out. I wanted to smoke weed and visit in privacy with my friend who came a long way so we could spend time together.

The discussion with the nurse occurred simultaneously as I was trying to insert the footrest on the wheelchair I was sitting on. I gave up trying to get the footrest in place when the nurse began saying the same thing and went outside with the friend in tow.

One of the reasons I thought I fucked up by going outside the facility was because I had just gotten done telling Mary Beth, my case manager, I might do well in an SRO environment that provides services. I also told her that I was institutionalized, and would probably do well in that kind of environment.

It turns out I didn't screw up because according to facility protocol I am able to go out with a visitor. The nurse screwed up, not me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Am a Dependent Person

"I am a dependent" is not easy to admit in a blog post that  has the potential to be seen/read by a lot of people.  But unfortunately, that's exactly what I am.. a dependent person.

How did I come to view myself as dependent on other people?

A Facebook friend shared a smiley face picture that looked like a crossword puzzle. There were a lot of letters going in different directions and above the picture were the following words:

"The first word you see describes you".

When I first laid eyes on the picture the first word I saw was 'dependent'. Oh my God! The floodgates opened and my mind raced through events in my life.

Changing My Life Means Depending on Myself

After a lot of thought I realized that yeah, I am a dependent person. I've been dependent on my mother and county jails and prisons to house and feed me for the better part of my adult life. So not only am I a dependent, I'm also institutionalized.

Of course I've worked most of my life, but throughout my twenties and thirties every paycheck I earned was used to buy drugs and alcohol.  My drug addiction was my first, second and third priorities.

After my paycheck earnings vanished, I'd call my mom so she could send money to help me pay rent and buy food.  And when I landed in jail, the county would support me by providing three meals a day and clean clothes as well as a place to live.

I Sometimes Welcomed Incarceration because it Meant a Change from Drugs

Sometimes I welcomed incarceration because I knew I could stay away from drugs and alcohol while I was locked-up.  Inside, I knew I wouldn't go too many days without eating because every county jail has to feed their inmates at least three times a day.  If I worked in the kitchen I'd eat very well and that  allowed me to gain extra weight so I'd have ample reserves to sustain my next run on the streets.

I also dated a woman for more than four years who supported me by paying the rent on my apartment and purchasing groceries so I could eat when I wasn't at her house eating her groceries and drinking her booze.

She was a Godsend.  She saved me from my addiction time and time again by making sure I wasn't homeless and that I had clean clothes to wear to work at the office.

Will the Smiley Face Help Me Create a New Life?

That smiley face with all those words really opened my eyes to the kind of life I've been living.  It's time to change my life for the better.  No more excuses and no more being afraid of success... if that's been my problem.  I'm a very intelligent and capable young man of fifty who has experienced a few successes in life.

I can take care of myself.  I can stop doing meth and have a normal life.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mindfulness Walking and its Benefits

Mindfulness is spreading across the country like wild fire. Every day a new mindfulness teaching center is launched and almost instantly becomes overwhelmed with new clients.

Mindfulness is becoming so popular so quickly because of the benefits it provides and the speed in which those benefits are realized.

When I became a resident of HealthRight 360's Hayes Street facility, a drug rehab center, I knew nothing about mindfulness walking or how it was going to help me change my life I knew a little about meditating because I'd learned how to meditate twenty years prior at a church function so I knew the benefits of a good meditation practice first-hand.

Someone invited me to take the mindfulness class at HealthRight 360 and I agreed not knowing I was in for a real life change.

Mindfulness Walking is Easy to Practice

Mindfulness walking is so simple yet so incredibly powerful it won't surprise me when everyone embraces it as a way of life. Moreover, walking mindfully allows you to literally step into the present moment any time you wish.

The more you practice mindfulness walking the easier it becomes and the benefits increase as well. Read the text below.

Development of Mindfulness in Daily Life

The practice of walking meditation helps develop mindfulness in everyday life. Buddhist author and teacher John Ciancosi explains it this way:

“If you can learn to establish awareness during walking meditation—when you are physically moving with your eyes open—then it won’t be difficult to arouse that same wakeful quality during other activities…Your meditation will begin to permeate your entire life.”

By supporting mindfulness, walking meditation, Ciancosi continues, “keeps your consciousness alive and alert to reality, thereby transforming ordinary life into a continuous practice of meditation, and transforming the mundane into the spiritual.” 

This meditation in action trains the mind to be wakeful and aware, increasing the sense of mindfulness in everyday activities. Because it can be practiced in short periods of time—even during normal transitions from car to office, for example–walking meditation is easy to incorporate into daily routines.

Health and Well-being

Walking meditation has health benefits even beyond the benefits of sitting meditation. The slow, methodical movements relieve stress, calm the body, and focus the mind—all of which are essential for optimal health and well-being.

Many practitioners find mindful walking to be more relaxing than sitting, especially during times of high stress. While it may seem paradoxical, walking meditation can be both relaxing and invigorating at the same time.

Mindful walking can help relieve arthritis, improve digestion, and reduce drowsiness after eating. When done for extended periods of time it increases stamina and strength, which are important for overall physical fitness.

Peace of mind is not the least of the benefits of meditation and walking. Just a few minutes of mindful movement calms the overactive mind. A break in the daily routine allows mental stress to lessen and insights to flow, leading to creative solutions to troubling problems. 

When meditation and walking occur outside the senses can take in the sights, sounds, and aromas of the out-of-doors, giving the mind a focus and a break from what can be a destructive obsession with problems and internal distress.

Mindfulness Walking Meditation Benefits

  For some, walking meditation creates a bridge between everyday life and sitting meditation, easing the way into sitting. The movement seems to quiet the body after the activity of the world and allow it to settle into practice naturally.

For long periods of sitting, mindful walking is a way to relieve the physical discomfort of the seated position without interrupting the formal meditation practice.

Staying in the Moment 

As with seated meditation, walking is a way to train the mind to stay in the present moment and reside in a wakeful state. Concentrating on the steps and movements of the body is another tool for cultivating mindfulness and keeping distractions at bay.

Walking meditation heightens awareness, concentration, and serenity; it can enhance the meditation practice, leading to new levels of mindfulness, freedom, and joy.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Miniature Vacuum Cleaner not Functioning Properly

I think it's safe to say my right foot will not be amputated anytime soon. Yesterday I was discharged from the UCSF Medical Center then transferred to the San Francisco Nursing Center which is a skilled nursing facility.

The image below depicts what my foot looks like today, Friday, September 18th. The black mass you see is actually a sponge that's used with the small vacuum cleaner to remove any debris leftover from the operation that was performed this past Tuesday or Wednesday.

I hope I get better soon. I enjoy lazy days in bed as much as the next guy, but I need to start moving forward with my life.

At any rate, I think the doctors have to figure out why the wound vac isn't working. It's supposed to suck stuff out but it's not doing anything.

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Right Leg Will Remain Intact for Now

In the last few blog posts I've written about how my right foot may have to be amputated and how I may embrace a harm reduction treatment program.

This is what my right foot looks like now.

The doctors taking care of me operated on my right leg again today. I was in the operating room nearly all day. I was moved from my room to the OR at about nine this morning and didn't return until after three o'clock,

The doctors inserted a small robotic vacuum cleaner which is supposed to finish cleaning the infection and any debris leftover. It hurts like you wouldn't believe, but I'm happy I still have my right leg. I couldn't imagine living without a limb let alone a leg! We'll see what happens tomorrow. Thanks for reading the Trying to Change My Life blog.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Will My Leg be Amputated Below the Knee?

Hello readers, thank you so much for reading this blog. As I sit writing this content I am a patient in a hospital in San Francisco. I was so 'out of it' when I was admitted I don't know which hospital I'm in. It's Saturday, September 12th at 7 o'clock and after having just eaten dinner, I realized tomorrow I may have to decide whether or not to have my right foot amputated.

To watch a quick video use this link http://goo.gl/09LSVy

Usually, I am excited about about new content ideas and most of the time I dive in while still formulating an idea. Not today. Today I am facing a very serious life changing decision. As you can see from the picture above, my right foot hasn't been doing very well and I have been too busy getting high to take care of myself.

I wrote about the issues with my leg in a blog post that was written more than two weeks ago, but not published until recently in an article about not being 100 operational.

I think if I come out of this I am truly a very lucky person and I think it may be time to change my life by embracing a harm reduction drug treatment program.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Right Wing Still Not 100 Operational After 10 Days

I busted my right ankle on August 27th and while it is getting better, it's not yet functioning at optimal levels. To me, that means being able to walk as quickly as I can manage without bumping into anyone or anything. View the video below to see puss coming out of the affected area.

I have not been able to leave my place for more than 10 days, but that doesn't really matter to me. What does matter is I have things to do before my housing management team arrive for a unit inspection.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

WP Post that didn't Get Published

Last Thursday I injured my right ankle while trying to inject 50 percent of a 100 milligram morphine pill. I get morphine because of bone pain throughout my body, so I'm accustomed to the large amounts.

My battle with drug addiction isn't a secret anymore because of this blog since it empowers me to be myself. I can be as open and as honest as I want to be and feel good about it. And writing on this blog really is helping me change my life

The text below is an email that I sent to my housing manager. I'm having issues with the retention specialist assigned to my case. This occurred well before I became hospitalized.

Hi Monica,

As always I hope you are well and smiling. I received a message from Kaseem about meeting at the Tropica on Friday. On Tuesday, I spoke to Kaseem at length regarding you guys performing a unit inspection.

I should be given ample notice from Brilliant Corners before a unit inspection can be performed. Please see the attachment. I have been bed ridden for the better part of a week because of the busted ankle and it wouldn't be fair to me to impose an inspection this week.

I'll be at the doctor's office on Friday so I won't be home. Can we please reschedule the meeting for the middle of next week.